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(Masnavi Book 4: 22) The Worldly and the Spiritual

Parable of Man's being contented with (the goods of) this world, and his greed in seeking (them) and his indifference to the high and blessed estate of the spiritual who are his congeners (and are) crying, Oh, would that my people might know!

1045. A dog saw a blind beggar in the street, and was rushing at him and tearing his cloak. We have (already) related this, but it is repeated (here) once again in order to strengthen (the effect of) the story.
The blind man said to it (the dog), Why, at this moment your friends are hunting and seeking prey on the mountain.
Your kinsfolk are catching onagers in the mountains: you are catching blind men in the streets.
O recalcitrant Shaykh, abandon this imposture: you art (like) briny water, having gathered some blind men (around thee),

1050. (As though implicitly you wert) saying, “These are my disciples, and I am (like) briny water: they drink of me and become blind.”
Sweeten your water with the esoteric Sea: do not make the foul water a snare for these blind
Arise, behold the lions of God who catch the onager: how art thou, like a dog, catching the blind with a (display of) hypocrisy?
What onager (do they catch)? They are far from hunting aught but the Beloved. They all are lions and lion-catchers and intoxicated with the Light (of God).
In contemplation of the chase and hunting of the King, they have abandoned the chase and have become dead in bewilderment.

1055. The Friend has taken them, like a dead bird, that (by means of them) He may hunt down their congeners.
The dead bird is compelled (deprived of volition) in respect of being united or separated: you have read (the Hadíth), “The heart is between two fingers (of the Merciful God).”
Every one that has fallen a prey to His dead bird (will perceive), when he sees (the truth), (that)
he has fallen a prey to the King.
Whoever turned his head away from this dead bird never gained the hand of that Hunter. It (the dead bird) says, “Do not regard my being a carcase: see the King's love (shown) in preserving me.

1060. I am not a carcase: the King has killed me: my appearance has become like (that of)
the dead.
My former motion was by means of wing and pinion: now my motion proceeds from the hand of the (Divine) Judge.
My perishable motion has gone forth from my skin: now my motion is everlasting, since it proceeds from Him.
If any one move crookedly (misbehave) in the presence of my motion, I will kill him miserably, (even) though he is the Símurgh.
Beware! If you art (spiritually) alive, do not deem me dead; if you art a (devoted) slave (of
God), regard me (as being) in the hand of the King.

1065. Jesus, by his grace, made the dead to be living: I am in the hand of the Creator of
How should I remain dead in the grasp of God? Likewise, do not hold this to be possible in (the case of) the hand of Jesus.
I am Jesus’; but every one that has gained life from (been revived by) my breath will remain unto everlasting.
He (the dead man) was made living by Jesus, but died again. Happy is he that gave up his life to this Jesus.’
I am the staff in the hand of my Moses: my Mosesis hidden, while I am visible in presence.

1070. For the true believers I become a bridge across the sea; for Pharaoh, again, I become a dragon.”
O son, do not regard this staff alone, for the staff would not be like this without the hand of God. The waves of the Flood too were a staff which, from being aggrieved, devoured the pomp of the votaries of magic.
If I should enumerate the staves of God, I should tear to pieces (expose and confound) the
hypocrisy of these followers of Pharaoh;
But leave them to browse on this sweet poisonous grass for a few days.

1075. If there be not the power and dominion of Pharaoh, whence shall Hell obtain nutriment?
Fatten him, then kill him, O Butcher; for the dogs in Hell are without food.
If there were no adversary and enemy in the world, then the anger in men would die. That anger is Hell: it needs an adversary that it may live; else Mercy would kill it.
Then clemency would remain without any vengeance or evil: then how would the perfection of
Kingship be (manifested)?

1080. Those disbelievers have made a laughing-stock of the parables and clear exposition of them that glorify (God).
Make (them) a laughing-stock, if you wishest (O disbeliever): how long wilt you live, O carcase,
how long?
Rejoice, O lovers (of God), in supplication at this same door, for it is opened today. Every pot-herb, (such as) garlic and caper, has a different bed in the garden.
Each with its own kind in its own bed drinks moisture (is watered) for the purpose of becoming mature.

1085. Thou, who art a saffron-bed, be saffron and do not mix with the others.
Drink the water, O saffron, that you mayst attain to maturity: you art saffron, you wilt attain to that halwá (sweetmeat).
Do not put your muzzle into the bed of turnips, for it (the turnip) will not agree with you in nature
and habit.
You art planted in one bed, it (the turnip) in another bed, because God's earth is spacious, Particularly that earth (the unseen world) where, on account of its breadth, demon and genie are
lost in their journey.

1090. In (seeking to measure) those seas and deserts and mountains imagination and fancy fail entirely.
In (comparison with) the deserts thereof, this desert (the material world) is like a single hair in a full sea.
The still water whose course is hidden is fresher and sweeter than running brooks,
For, like the (vital) spirit and the (rational) soul, it has within itself a hidden course and a moving foot.

The auditor is asleep: cut short (conclude) the address: O preacher, do not draw this picture on water.

1095. Arise, O Bilqís, for it is a keen (busy and lucrative) market: flee from these vile wretches who ruin (the spiritual) trade.
O Bilqís, arise now with free-will, ere Death appear in his sovereign might.
After that, Death will pull your ear (torment thee) in such wise that you wilt come in agony, like a thief to the magistrate.
How long wilt you be (engaged in) stealing shoes from these asses? If you art going to steal,
come and steal a ruby!
Thy sisters have gained the kingdom of everlasting life; you have won the kingdom of misery.

1100. Oh, happy he that escaped from this kingdom, for Death makes this kingdom desolate. Arise, O Bilqís! Come, behold for once the kingdom of the Sháhs and Sultans of the (true) Religion.
He (such a king) is seated inwardly (in spirit) amidst the rose-garden (of union with God);
outwardly (in the body) he is acting as a hádí amongst his friends.
The garden is going with him wherever he goes, but it is (always) being concealed from the people.
The fruit is making entreaty, saying, “Eat of me”; the Water of Life is come, saying, “Drink of me.”

1105. Make a circuit of heaven without wing and pinion, like the sun and like the full-moon and like the new moon.
You wilt be moving, like the spirit, and (there will be) no foot; you wilt be eating a hundred dainties, and (there will be) none chewing a morsel.
Neither will the leviathan, Pain, dash against your ship, nor will ugliness appear in you from dying. You wilt be sovereign, army, and throne, all together: you wilt be both the fortunate and Fortune.
(Even) if you art fortunate and a powerful monarch, (yet) Fortune is other than thou: one day
Fortune goes,

1110. And you art left destitute like beggars. Be you yours own fortune, O elect one! When you art yours own fortune, O man of Reality, then how wilt thou, who art Fortune, lose yourself?
How wilt you lose yourself, O man with goodly qualities, when your Essence has become your kingdom and riches?

The rest of the story of Solomon, on whom be peace: how he built the Farther Mosque (the Temple of Solomon) by instruction and inspiration from God, (given to him) for wise purposes which He (only) knows; and how angels, demons, genies, and men lent visible aid.

(God said) O Solomon, build the Farther Mosque, the army of Bilqis has come into (has adopted)
the (ritual) prayer.”
When he laid the foundation of that Mosque, genies and men came and threw themselves into the work,

1115.One party from love, and another company unwillingly, just as God’s servants (do) in the way of obedience (to Him).
The folk (of the world) are (like) demons, and desire is the chain dragging them to shop and crops.

This chain is (the result) of being afraid (of poverty) and crazed (with worldliness): do not regard these folk as unchained.
It drags them to earning and hunting; it drags them to the mine and the seas.
It drags them to good and to evil: God has said,On her neck a cord of palm-fibre.

1120. We have put the cordon their necks: We have made the cord (to consist) of their natural dispositions.
There is none ever, (be he) defiled or (be he) recovered (from foul disease), but his fortune is on his neck
Your greed for evil-doing is like fire: the live coal (the evil deed) is (made) pleasing by the fire’s pleasing hue.
The blackness of the coal is hidden in the fire: when the fire is gone, the blackness becomes
By your greed the black coal is made live: when the greed is gone, that vicious coal remains.

1125. At that (former) time the coal appeared to be live; that was not (owing to) the goodness of (your) action: it was (owing to) the fire of greed.
Greed had embellished your action: greed departed, and your action was left in squalor
(Only) one who is foolish will think ripe (and sweet) the ghawla which the ghouls deck out
(describe as being attractive).
When his soul makes trial (of it), its teeth are blunted by the experiment.
From vain desire, the reflexion (distorting influence) of the ghoul, (which is) greed, was causing the trap to appear a (delicious) berry, though in truth it was unripe.

1130. Seek greed (seek to be eager) in the practice of religion and in good works: they are
(still) beautiful, (even) when the greed (eagerness) remains not.
Good works are beautiful (in themselves), not through the re flexion of any other thing: if the glow of greed is gone, the glow of good remains;
(But) when the glow of greed is gone from worldly work, of the red-hot coal (only) the black ashes are left.
Folly excites greed (for amusement) in children, so that from gleefulness of heart they ride a cock-horse
When that evil greed of his is gone from the child, he begins to laugh at the other children,

1135. Saying, “What was I doing? What was I seeing in this? From the reflexion of greed the vinegar appeared to be honey.
That edifice of the prophets was (raised) without greed (self- interest); hence the splendours (of its renown) increased so uninterruptedly.
Oh, many a mosque have the noble (prophets) erected, but “the Farther 1osque is not its name. The grandeur which at every moment accrued to the Ka’bathat (grandeur) was (derived) from
the acts done in pure de voti on by Abraham.
The excellence of that mosque (which the prophets build) is not from earth and stone, but
(because) there is no greed or enmity in its builder.

1140. Their Books are not as the books of others, nor their mosques nor their means of livelihood nor their houses and homes,
Nor their observance of respect nor their anger nor their chastisement nor their slumber nor their
reasoning nor their discourse.
To each one of them belongs a different glory: (in each of them) the bird, their spirit, flies with a different wing.
The heart is trembling at mention of their (high) estate: their actions are the qibla (to which we turn for guidance) of our actions.
The eggs laid by their bird (spirit) are golden: at midnight their spirit has beheld the dawn.

1145. Whatsoever I say with (all) my soul in praise of the company (of the prophets), I have depreciated (them): I have become a disparager of the company.
O ye noble. (seekers of God), build the Farther Mosque, for Solomon has returned—and peace
(be with you)!
And if the demons and genies refuse this (service), the angels will drag them all into bondage. (If) the demon once make a false step on account of deceit and hypocrisy, the whip comes
(down) on his head like lightning.
Become like Solomon, in order that your demons may hew stone for your palace.

1150. Be devoid, like Solomon, of thoughts which tempt to evil-doing and of fraud, that genie and demon may obey your command.
This heart is your sealand take heed lest the seal fall a prey to the demon!
(For) then the demon possessing the seal will always exercise the sway of Solomon over you:
beware (of him), and peace (be with thee)!
O heart, that sway of Solomon is notabrogated : in your head and inmost consciousness is one that exercises the sway of Solomon.
The demon too exercises the sway of Solomon for a time, but how should every weaver weave

1155. He (the weaver of common cloth) moves his hand like his (the satin-weavers) hand, but there is a good difference between the two of them:

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